afc wimbledon

BIG MAC - Joe McNerney towers over everyone to head home Woking's second

BIG MAC – Joe McNerney towers over everyone to head home Woking’s second

JOE McNERNEY gave Garry Hill some food for thought after thundering home the decisive second goal in Woking’s 2-1 win over AFC Wimbledon.

McNerney, on as a second half substitute, rose highest to head home Jesse Waller-Lassen’s corner to double his side’s advantage after Bradley Bubb’s 19th minute volley had given the hosts the lead.

Jack Midson reduced the deficit ten minutes from time after the Dons were awarded a controversial penalty.

But Woking were rarely threatened and eased their way to victory in a game that honoured the memory of former player and chairman Phil Ledger.

It was nice to be able to honour a real legend at the club with a performance like that

After the game Hill admitted an additional friendly with Hornchurch had been arranged to give every member of his squad the chance to prove their worth before the start of the season.

And McNerney, who faces stiff competition from Jack Parkinson, Brett Johnson and Adam Doyle to secure a place in the starting XI, confirmed he will keep working hard to force his way into the manager’s plans.

He said: “Hopefully the goal will stick in the gaffer’s mind but I’m sure he will be focusing on my performance at the back.

“There is competition in every position and everyone is looking to stake their claim.

“The extra friendly is another chance to impress but pre-season is all about fitness, no one is really worried about results yet.

“All the lads will want to get out there and make sure the impress they manager.

“We’ve got a strong core of players at the club now and the spirit in the dressing room is positive – everyone is getting on and working hard.”

McNerney also hailed the way his side outplayed and outclassed their Football League opponents.

He described the performance as a fitting way to celebrate Phil Ledger’s outstanding service to both Woking and AFC Wimbledon.

“I was actually really impressed with the way we played last night. We kept the ball well, played some good football and controlled the game.

“It was nice to be able to honour a real legend at the club with a performance like that and it’s brilliant that we could host the cup against a top team in AFC Wimbledon.”

IN THE MARKET - new-boy Lee Sawyer could be joined by 'two or three' additional signings

IN THE MARKET – new-boy Lee Sawyer could be joined by ‘two or three’ additional signings

GARRY HILL reckons Woking are just warming up in the transfer market despite bolstering his ranks with three signings in two days.

Mike Cestor, Lee Sawyer and Bradley Bubb all agreed deals to join the Cards late last week.

But speaking after the 2-1 friendly defeat to a QPR select XI, Hil revealed he is still working hard to bring in ‘two or three’ new recruits.

If a player isn’t going to strengthen the squad then unfortunately we have to say goodbye

He confirmed that Greg Mills’ trial with the club has been unsuccessful, but suggested a few new faces could feature against AFC Wimbledon in the Phil Ledger memorial cup on Tuesday.

Hill said: “In 20 years of management I’ve never been in a position where so many calls are just starting to warm up.

“I’m quite relaxed about the club’s current situation but there will definitely be some movement as July is a time when clubs elsewhere are looking at their figures and discussing their own options.

“We are trying to be as honest as we can with players but we need to be 100 per cent sure that they are going to be the right players and that they’ll fit in with the rest of the squad.

“We’re still looking for players to come in and there are two or three we are still analysing, after that we’ll start to have a clearer image of how the squad will look.

“We’ve had to let Greg Mills go. He’s done very well but if a player isn’t going to strengthen the squad then unfortunately we have to say goodbye.”

Cards travel to Carshalton on Saturday before wrapping up their pre-season preparations when Aldershot visit Kingfield on August 4.

Hill said that fans will catch a glimpse of his preferred starting XI before the big kick-off on August 11 and also hinted at the possibility of organising an extra fixture should his side require any additional match practice.

“We you haven’t got the biggest squad at this point in time and we need to make sure we don’t over do it before the start of the season.

“If we play too many games and pick up one or two injuries then all of a sudden we are down on numbers and facing two games a week at the start of the season.

“We are quite happy with three weeks and three games to go in pre-season but if we feel we need another match in that time we’ll look at the possibility of organising something behind closed doors.”

DELIGHTED  - Brett Johnson is looking forward to a successful future with Woking

DELIGHTED – Brett Johnson is looking forward to a successful future with Woking

BRETT JOHNSON wasted little time talking up his new club after he become Garry Hill’s third signing of the summer.

The former AFC Wimbledon and Brentford defender signed a pre-contract agreement with the Cards on Friday, and will join the champions on August 1.

The 26-year-old can play either at a centre-half or left full-back and offers Hill and assistant Steve Thompson a wealth of Blue Square Premier experience.

He made 77 appearances for AFC in a four year spell and helped the club to a dramatic play-off final win in 2011 securing Terry Brown’s side a place in the Football League.

There’s no point staying in the same place and becoming stagnant

Johnson played 45 minutes in Woking’s first pre-season game of the summer which ended in a disappointing 2-0 defeat to Combined Counties Premier Division outfit Windsor.

But he remains adamant the Cards are moving in the right direction.

He said: “I know Garry Hill and I know what he has done previously for non-league clubs.

“He’s got a great history on that front with winning promotion and I always want to be part of squad that is progressing – there’s no point staying in the same place and becoming stagnant.

“I wanted to join a club that was looking to progress and Woking have a good platform to build from coming off the back of a title-winning season in the Blue Square South.

“The majority of the boys here have been kept on and there is a good feeling around the place, I’m looking to progress with Woking.

“After I spoke to Garry the decision became very simple. Other clubs made offers but I’ve played against Woking before and I’ve always enjoyed playing at Kingfield so I was pleased to take on this new challenge.”

Johnson is also looking forward to a reunion with a handful of former team-mates now scattered across the Blue Square Premier.

He insists the opportunity to get one over on old friends will help drive him toward success in the coming season.

“There are a few ex-Wimbledon players in the league so I’m looking out for the games with Grimsby, Cambridge, Newport and Macclesfield.

“There will be quite a few familiar faces in those fixtures so I’ll have to make sure we win those.”